The Children’s Commission’s Trial Skills Training application deadline is midnight this Friday, December 3, 2021. This will be the final opportunity for attorneys to submit an application for the Spring 2022 interactive training. Below are some Frequently Asked Questions about this unique opportunity:
Q: Who should apply?
A: Less-experienced attorneys handling CPS cases who want to improve their litigation skills for both virtual and in-person contested matters. The training is limited to 21 participants: 7 attorneys representing DFPS, 7 parents’ attorneys, and 7 children’s attorneys.
Q: Who is considered a less-experienced attorney?
A: “Less experienced” generally means that prior to applying to the Trial Skills Training, applicants who represent children and parents have completed two to three contested Adversary Hearings and/or substantially participated in two to three final termination trials as first chair, and applicants who represent DFPS have completed at least three contested Adversary Hearings and/or substantially participated in three to five final termination trials as first chair. Attorneys who have substantially participated as first chair for eight or more final termination trials would be considered overqualified for this training.
Q: What does Trial Skills Training include?
A: The training includes 17-20 hours of free MCLE, including ethics, in the form of lectures, demonstrations, and interactive strategy and practice sessions in small groups that cover all stages of a CPS trial from voir dire to closing argument. The training is taught by experienced faculty that includes judges and trial attorneys, many of whom are TBLS Board Certified in Child Welfare Law.
Q: When and where is the Trial Skills Training?
A: The training will take place on March 30, 2022 and April 6 and 7, 2022 on Zoom.
Q: Why might attorneys want to apply to participate in the Trial Skills Training?
A: Trial Skills Training provides a focused opportunity for building litigation skills, including practice sessions with live lay and expert witnesses, in a fictional case where the stakes are low and there are unique opportunities for coaching, mentoring, and networking with practitioners and faculty. Graduates and their judges report increased skills and confidence in court proceedings following completion of the Trial Skills Training.